Today, I am gonna take you with me throughout my Monday. The start of my week is pretty hectic, especially Tuesdays, when I have classes pretty much straight through from 9am to 8pm. However, Monday is a pretty easy start to the week.
I wake up about one hour before I have to leave for class because I like to stay in bed for a while and start my mornings slow. I get dressed, pack my backpack, sometimes have breakfast depending on if I’m feeling hungry or not, and make my way to class. It takes me around 20 minutes to get to class but I always give myself some wiggle room since I may miss a train or get caught up trying to help someone find their way. Most days, nothing happens but at least I get to walk slowly through the sidewalks, like the Spaniards!
I arrive at the sede and have my Identidades y Interseccionalidades class. I really enjoy this class because it has opened my eyes to the many communities that are marginalized by Spanish society. To me, the more I’ve learned about different countries the more I’ve realized that it’s those exact countries that export an image of an equal society that have several internal problems. As much as you hear many Spaniards say that there was no slave trading within Spain, that is untrue. Sevilla was the largest slave port in Spain. We also learn about the experiences of Asian people, Muslims, LGBTQ+, and immigrants living in Spain. After class, I mingle a little with some friends and head off to class at Autónoma (UAM).
Going to Autónoma from the sede takes me about 30 minutes. I go from Bilbao to Sol and then take the Cercanias to Cantoblanco. On Mondays, my class is only one hour, but on Tuesdays, it is two hours. My class in UAM is called “Society and Economy in Present-day Latin America” and the professor has been teaching this class for a long time, so much so that Guille took this class! As a Latin American Studies student, to learn about Latin America from a Spanish perspective is very interesting and sometimes I find myself disagreeing with the professor and what he says.
After UAM, I have my afternoon free so what I do depends on my mood, any homework or plans I have, and even the weather, to be honest! Some days, I have lunch with my friends Jordana (who’s in my UAM class) and Christian who are also Tufts-Skidmore students and have classes that end at the same time as mine in UAM.
Today, I decided to go back home because I have been feeling a little under the weather. My allergies always hit me around March when the weather starts to warm up. For lunch, I had a salad with strawberries and walnuts with a balsamic-honey dressing. I also recreated a delicious cold salad from La Hummuseria of chickpeas, corn, cucumbers, tomatoes, and a little greek yogurt with some lemon juice and mint. While I ate, I FaceTimed my mom and caught up with her since I was also feeling a little homesick. My host parents, Jorge and Cristina, came home while I was talking to her so I introduced them to each other. Each one enjoyed putting a face to the name!
I took a nap after lunch and then did some homework for my UAM class. We’re reading about neoliberalism… economy and government-related things that I sometimes find hard to understand.
For my birthday, my host mom gifted me a manicure and pedicure. She had scheduled for Natalia to come to the house this evening to paint our nails! Natalia was so sweet and we talked for the entire time. I asked her to paint my nails electric blue because I usually go for neutral colors but was inspired by my friend, Meghan, who always chooses bright colors!
While every day and every Monday is a little different, this is what this past Monday looked like for me. I’m excited for the warmer weather since that means I’ll be able to spend more time outside!
I worked on my homework until dinner time at 9:30pm. I took a shower and then went to bed soon afterwards.
Giovanna Sabini-Leite, student blogger primavera 2020